Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fun New Wordless Book

by Bill Thomson
Marshall Cavendish, 2010
review copy provided by the publisher

I'm always on the lookout for new wordless books for my collection. They are great for limited English speakers and for small group work on making inferences.

This one tells the story of some children who find a gift bag full of chalk hanging from a playground dinosaur's mouth on a rainy day. The first girl draws a sun on the sidewalk, and lo and behold, the sun comes out.

The kids try out one fun possibility after another, but things get a little out of hand, until someone gets the idea to draw the rainstorm they started out with so that the chalk drawings wash away.

The kids carefully hang the bag of chalk back on the dinosaur's mouth and walk on (with a final, wary glance back -- reminiscent of JUMANJI).


  1. I've passed Chalk on to several classes at my school and they have enjoyed reading it. Check out the link below for an interesting explanation of Bill Thomson's illustration process.

  2. Jeff,

    Thanks for the link! It's fascinating how Thomson gets that photograpic-realism look with all those layers of color and media! WOW!

  3. I love this book!! I just did a family event on using wordless picture books with all ages a few weeks ago and was so happy with this find!

  4. Wordless books are always a hit in my classroom with all learners. I enjoy using them with my ELLs, especially those who very low readers. They are able to describe the pictures and create their own story. They are able to feel the empowerment through the engagement and making the story their own. Wordless books are a fanastic way to introduce print concepts to these little guys. I have also found that my lower readers sometimes need a break from decoding task, and they just really enjoy having the opportunity to use their imaginations through the illustrations. Chalk has very engaging photographs, and the kids can relate to the activity.


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